International Communism and World Revolution: History & Methods

By Günther Nollau | Go to book overview

Chapter VII
PROLETARIAN INTERNATIONALISM AFTER THE DEATH OF STALIN

"Beneath Stalin's rule of terror there reigned an iron logic.'1

T HE history of the Comintern demonstrates that although in 1919 the Communist parties voluntarily came together and founded the new International as members possessing equal rights, the ascendancy of the Russian Party in the Comintern was making itself felt as early as 1920. Ever since the 5th Congress in February 1924, the Comintern became the arena for the contests which broke out between the Soviet members of the Politbureau. These contests were accompanied by the start of the bolshevization of the Sections of the Comintern. Stalin made his first appearance on the international scene. When Stalin's conquest of the Soviet Party was made manifest at the 17th Party Congress in 1934, he was also dictator of the Comintern.2 During the purges, his NKVD ravaged the Comintern just as much as the Soviet Party. Stalin remained the dictator of world Communism until his death. The demand for the acknowledgement of the leading role of the Soviet Party was directed at making every Communist subject to Stalin's domination. Describing the situation during this period, Gomulka said at the 8th Plenary Session of the Central Committee of the Polish Party:3

In the bloc comprising the Socialist states it was Stalin who stood at the summit of this hierarchy of adulation. All those who were below him bowed their heads before him. It was not only the other leading personalities in the CPSU and the

____________________
1
Edda Werfel in Przeglad Kulturalny, No. 44, 1956.
2
Nenni in Avanti, 24 June 1956 (quoted in The Anti-Stalin Campaign and International Communism).
3
National Communism and Popular Revolt in Eastern Europe, New York, 1956, p. 228.

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